CEO of NHIA, Sylvester Mensah
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Sylvester Mensah has downplayed the findings of a report by the World Bank which indicated that with the current expenditure and expansion plans, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was projected to be insolvent possibly as early as 2013.
According to the Chief Executive, his outfit has been aware of the figures contained in the report for some years and has taken several steps to address them.
The World Bank sponsored report titled: Health Financing in Ghana, reviewed Ghana’s health financing system, with a special emphasis on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The study also undertook, for the first time, an extensive international benchmarking analysis, assessing the financial protection/equity of the system at both the macro and micro levels, and analysing Ghana’s fiscal space in the wake of its reclassification as a lower-middle-income country in November 2010.
The report among other things revealed that as a result of Ghana’s new macroeconomic situation, the total health spending as a share of GDP was slightly below the global average for comparable income countries.
It also revealed that there were fewer health sector inputs and somewhat poorer health outcomes for the monies spent. It noted that premiums, taxes, and reinsurance payments for NHIS were not actuarially determined.
Mr Sylvester Mensah, in an interview on Eyewitness News
cautioned that despite the gloomy picture painted by report, “not until you put this report in its proper perspective, you are likely to have various interpretations that may not really reflect the objective reality and the import of the reality.”
He conceded that the data which informed the report was provided by the NHIA and was “reflective of the health system in Ghana with particular reference to health financing.”
The NHIA CEO however said “the data used for this report is largely data secured from 2005 through to 2009. There was some data for 2010 but there was no data for 2012 and very limited data for 2011. This tells you largely the time frame within which this report is portraying.”
He maintained that “we have taken a cue from the discussion in this report and we have put in place a number of structural arrangements that will inject greater efficiency in the scheme… 2013 becomes a very important year where we need to have additional injection of funds in order to redefine sustainability.”
By: Philip Kofi Ashon/citifmonline.com/Ghana